We have all heard of this often quoted rhetorical question “ How can you take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself ?”. But how many of us do it – I will definitely put my hands up and admit that I truly struggle with finding time to do things for myself . However , I have also realised that I often make it harder for myself by always feeling that I have to do everything and anything for everybody before I take care of myself .
Lockdown has truly made it harder too in many ways too. But I thought I will share some tips and things that have worked for me ( do let me know , how you have been taking care of yourself during lockdown ) :
1️⃣ Relaxing my house keeping standards – a sink full of dishes don’t have to be washed straight away , baskets full of laundry don’t have to folded exactly the same minute when they come out of the drier too. Ask your family members to chip in- encouraging children to help around the house builds their self esteem and expands their abilities . But honestly hand on heart I can definitely say that it’s impossible to have a nice looking house when you have children. It’s taken me a few years to finally really surrender to this fact .
2️⃣ Cut down on TV time – I am not a TV person but as soon as my children go to bed , I often feel like binge watching some of my favourite youtubers or scroll through Instagram . I still struggle with this but more often than not I try to use that time do something that I truly love – and that’s reading a book. I actually want to emphasise something – Reading a book is not somehow Superior than watching TV . Whatever you choose to do – make sure it’s something that stimulates your brain and it doesn’t feel you left drained out.
3️⃣ Say “No” when you need to – this a big one for me , because more often than not I am a very “YEs” person and try to accommodate and get involved in activities just to fill someone else’s need. So I am trying very hard not to be a pushover – my needs and my energy level are important .
4️⃣ Use routines to make your life easier – I am not a rigid person but routines certainly help me and I have noticed the benefit of having a loose routine even more during Lockdown . Everybody knows roughly what’s expected from them .
5️⃣ Taking Care of my mind -as parents we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves and not to forget how much we “love “ criticising and condemning ourselves whenever we are less than perfect – we can sometimes be truly our worst cheerleaders. This negative focus causes us much unhappiness . Lighten up and let go of the guilt. One thing that has really helped me is practising positive self talk to myself and recently I even decided to write some positive statements that I often read to myself.
Ultimately , we will all be better parents, loving spouses , friendlier friends and overall better people , if we all take time everyday , just for us .